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Violin News & Gossip, Op. 3, No. 82

October 14, 2007 at 4:42 PM

10/13/07 – A scandal is brewing in Manchester, England, where violinists Oliver Morris and Hazel Ross have been threatened with legal action for disturbing the peace in their flat building when they practice. From the Times of London: “The couple insist that they rarely practise at home for more than two hours, and not every day, or in the evenings, but they have fallen foul of an irate upstairs neighbour who has complained to Manchester City Council.

They have now received a formal warning from the council that their behaviour is unacceptable and must stop. Further breaches will lead to a noise abatement order and forcible entry to their flat to seize their violins.”

Noise disputes are fairly common, but this one has clearly been bungled. Note that the article has room to post comments below, as about a dozen people already have.


10/11/07 – The Globe & Mail (Toronto) has offered a handy update on the progress of the amazing busking sojourn of violinist David Juritz (“Round the World and Bach. Six continents on an empty wallet.")

“[Juritz’s target charity] Musequality is raising money for music projects in disadvantaged areas of the world, starting with South Africa and Uganda. The pilot project in Kampala began teaching its first students, mostly AIDS orphans, this month….The busking trip has raised about $50,000 so far - $12,000 of that from donations dropped into the violin case (more than covering his travel expenses). But the budget to run the school in Kampala is $70,000 for the first two years. With less than two weeks to go on the tour, Juritz has his work cut out for him.”

The article notes that his remaining stops are Chicago, Boston, Washington and New York. He returns to London on Oct. 23.

David, if you’re reading and get the chance in Chicago, please e-mail me. I’d love to come see you play and would gladly drop a few bob in your case. Your cause is worthy, your endurance sublime.

Musician News

10/15/07 - Violinist Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet will lead a master class at Curtis that is free and open to the public. Setzer will hear works by Beethoven and Janacek. His Emerson colleague, cellist David Finckel, will also lead a master class later in the day.

10/14/07 – Teen violinist Mia Laity will perform a solo recital in Scottsdale, according to the Arizona Republic. She will play the same program at a benefit for the New Conservatory of Dallas and is also auditioning for From the Top.

10/13/07 – The Arizona Republic reports that Dimitri Lazarescu, a violinist with the Phoenix Symphony, has purchased The Coffee Buzz, a trendy coffee bar in Ahwatukee, Arizona. His wife and co-owner, Carol, will manage the business, though “from time to time, the 58-year-old virtuoso will stroll through the café with violin and bow in hand. Dimitri, a native of Romania, defected while on tour in Italy in 1980.

10/11/07 – The Hagerstown (MD) Morning Herald recently published a Q&A with Heather Austin Stone, the assistant concertmaster of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

Orchestra News

Apparently, ‘tis the season for multimedia season openers. Consider:

10/26/07 - Caricaturist Michael Arthur and pop artist André Miripolsky will join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a performance called “Your Concert—Your Way: Hear Art. See Music. Live.” As the orchestra plays works including Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre, Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, and HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!! (the latter narrated by the composer), the artists will create black-and-white pen sketches (Arthur) and bold color canvases (Miripolsky) projected on a giant screen above the musicians.

10/20/07 - The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra opens its pops season with a hybrid concert called “Cirque de la Symphonie.” The performance, conducted by NMSO Pops Principal Composer Michael Krajewski, will feature acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, and aerial flyers in choreographed movements to such works as Ravel’s Bolero, Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, and Star Wars and other music by John Williams.

10/14/07 - The California Symphony will open its season with a multimedia version of “The Planets,” reports the Contra Costa Times. “As [music director Barry] Jekowsky leads a performance of Holst's ‘The Planets,' the audience will view a recently developed video suite with corresponding state-of-the-art images. ... Titled ‘Reaching the Outer Limits,' the program features high-definition video from Chicago's Adler Planetarium, footage taken by space probes, animation created by NASA and the European Space Agency, and historical illustrations from the Adler Collection." Bay-area astronomer and author Andrew Frankoi, who narrates on the program, discusses the increasing knowledge we have of the solar system, having come a long way since the early 20th century, when Holst was inspired by more mythological ideas associated with the planets. The video suite was commissioned by the Chicago Sinfonietta, which gave the world premiere in May 2006.


10/13/07 - The New World Symphony, the Florida-based training orchestra, opened its 20th season. Violinist Gil Shaham soloed in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

10/12/07 – According to The Guardian (UK) "Classic FM has struck its biggest live music deal with a series of 25 concerts featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, to be presented by Katie Derham. The GCap Media station has signed a five-year partnership with the Liverpool Philharmonic and will broadcast a series of special programmes featuring the orchestra throughout 2008. The deal represents Classic FM's single biggest investment in live orchestral music."

10/11/07 - The Chamber Orchestra of New York presented its debut concert at Zankel Hall, in New York. The group, established in 2006 in honor of Ottorino Respighi, is “dedicated to presenting the great orchestral repertoire alongside undiscovered or rarely performed gems.” The inaugural program, led by Founder and Music Director Salvatore Di Vittorio, included Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, Respighi’s The Birds, the “Winter” movement from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

10/10/07 - reports that the Cleveland Orchestra is launching its three-week, eleven-concert tour of Europe with performances in Washington and New York. Fresh off of performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, the orchestra will tour Europe from Oct. 21-28, with stops in Birmingham, Cardiff, Brussels, Luxembourg, Cologne, and Friedrichschafen, Germany, playing works by Mozart, Mahler, Debussy, Pintscher, Ligeti, and Bruckner. "Welser-Möst and the orchestra continue to Vienna for the third of their biennial residencies at the Musikverein, with four concerts from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. The Clevelanders' performances of the Bruckner Ninth Symphony - programmed with György Ligeti's Lontano on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 - will be recorded for television broadcast and DVD release."

From Alison S
Posted on October 14, 2007 at 7:13 PM
The story about the Manchester violinists receiving an ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order) is really worrying. And even more so when you consider that people can be sent to prison for such offences.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 14, 2007 at 8:02 PM
I'm struck by how differently it would be handled in the U.S., especially since you said they could go to prison. There'd never be a forcible entry, and the violins couldn't be seized. No jail time either, and no city council involved. There would be a couple warning visits by cops and after that they'd have to pay a fine when they showed up. A very remote chance of going to jail for a day or two if they didn't pay the fine and their name came up if they got stopped for a traffic violation, but that's about all.
From Alison S
Posted on October 14, 2007 at 8:56 PM
I probably made it sound worse than it is. It's not as simple as 'Go to Jail, Go directly to Jail, Do not pass Go, Do not collect £200'. But there's a warning, and if that doesn't work the council will confiscate the audio equipment. Jail is a last resort for persistent offenders.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 15, 2007 at 8:20 AM
It's kind of funny to me that the city council is involved. Here they just have residential ordinances and the council wouldn't get involved in individual cases. The ordinance is usually you can make all the racket you want between certain hours. If you were doing something outrageous like running a jackhammer upstairs for eight hours you might be able to sue them for being a "nuisance." There's public and private nuisance, not sure whether it's civil or criminal. No jail time in either case though, and no confiscation of anything. Most people would opt to move it it was a rental. If it was a condo not sure. I'd sell the condo and vow to not live in anything but a house after that. Actually, I did that :)
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 15, 2007 at 8:34 AM
The ultimate decision could only be made by a judge. Very different here.
From Peter Kent
Posted on October 15, 2007 at 8:29 PM
...Ever hear of practice mutes ?

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